Jair Jurrjens makes spring debut (kinda)

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Jair Jurrjens headshot.jpgJust because it doesn’t count doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Jair Jurrjens, who already had his spring debut pushed back because of a rainout on Thursday, tossed two innings of scoreless ball against the Pirates on Friday before the game was called due to rain.

Jurrjens threw 29 pitches over the two innings, 18 of them for strikes. He even struck out Andrew McCutchen looking on three pitches to start the game.

“I just wanted to throw strikes,” Jurrjens said. “My main concern was
to throw strikes and make it through it as quick as I could.”

As long as there’s no problems with his shoulder, Jurrjens will start on short rest against the Marlins on Tuesday.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.